Mix digital tracks with MixPad Audio Mixer

mixpad_iconAnybody who has made music or likes to mix tracks of any kind needs a decent mixer. With the introduction of computers to the masses, more and more people are bringing audio mixing to their bedrooms and basements. This is one reason why I like MixPad Audio Mixer. It’s a multitrack mixing suite for Windows.

MixPad Audio Mixer is a digital multitrack mixing suite. It can mix and process more than 100 tracks at once in most audio formats, and it can also extract audio from video files as well as rip CDs. Its media-player-like buttons and time indicators give MixPad’s interface a familiar feel. The main window displays each track horizontally within its own control console. The setup options involve selecting a recording device and output folder, while the Audio options included sample rate and other specifications.

Each track in your mix can be comprised of a number of different clips. You can view the clips in each track by selecting the optional Clip Manager on the View menu opened a right-hand panel. MixPad can manage dozens of tracks and clips, so this is a handy feature and it can toggle it closed when you don’t need it.

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MixPad’s extensive zoom and expand controls let you view entire audio clips or individual passages of a clip in tiny fractions.  The Pan slider can shift the sound of a particular track from the right to the left channel or vice-versa. Pressing the Fx button allows you to string together a chain of effects to apply in sequence. We were also able to change tracks’ playback speed to synchronize speed and pitch.

MixPad Audio Mixer provides professional level tools that should be easy enough for just about anyone with a reasonable amount of audio mixing knowledge to use to create professional sounding mixes. The app is easy enough to use and understand, but unless you’re looking for something for a specific event – a big party, wedding or other gathering – or are a semi-serious/semi-professional DJ, its somewhat elevated cost and short trial may reduce its overall appeal and value.

download MixPad Audio Mixer

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Create professional-looking movies and demos from your computer screen with Camtasia Studio

I create training materials all the time. Part of what I do for my day job occasionally requires me to train end users in some kind of computer based process or procedure. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, I’m glad I have tools like Camtasia Studio. It’s a screencast tool for Windows.

Creating a great screencast happens in three simple steps: Record, Edit and Share.

Camtasia Studio’s flexible recording options allow you to capture a full screen or a window or region. You can add in music tracks, a spoken, vocal track, or your computer’s audio.  You can also include picture-in-picture video with your web camera. If you’re using PowerPoint to give a presentation that you want to record for use by invitees who couldn’t attend the initial presentation, Camtasia’s toolbar inside PowerPoint makes it easy to record your presentations, either live or from your desk.  TechSmith’s exclusive SmartFocus technology keeps track of where the action happens on your computer screen during your recording. It then produces a video that zooms in on the parts you need to show.

Once you have your content recorded, Camtasia Studio allows you to spruce it up.  You can easily create callouts by adding a graphic over your video to direct the attention of your viewers. You can also link to an external webpage or jump to a part of the video.  If you’re stuck for the right graphic to use, Camtasia Studio comes stocked with professionally-designed assets you can drag-and-drop into your video. You can also the store your callouts, title slides, and other assets for re-use and sharing later.

After you have your screencast created, the final step is sharing it with your audience.  You can share to YouTube and Screencast.com, TechSmith’s video hosting service.  You can also produce videos in a variety of formats including, MP4, FLV/SWF, M4V, AVI, WMV, MOV, RM, Animated GIF and MP3 (for audio only).

Read full review | Download Camtasia Studio

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